Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Governance for coffee smallholders in Central America


  • Raffaele Vignola Wageningen University, Environmental Policy Group.
  • Marco Otarola Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE).
  • Francisco Alpizar Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE).
  • Pavel Rivera Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE).


climate change adaptation, environmental policies, network analysis, agriculture


Introduction. Agricultural practices based on good management of ecosystems are promoted as a good adaptation strategy for the productive activities of coffee smallholder farmers in the Central American region. The dissemination of information on innovations, techniques, instruments, etc. between organizations and producers is key to expand and consolidate the use of these practices. Objective. The objective of this study was to identify the structure of information-dissemination governance that can help expand and consolidate the use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) practices in agriculture. Materials and methods. Three productive landscapes distributed in three countries (Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica) were analysed, characterized by predominantly small-scale coffee growing farmers. For each of these landscapes, the actors that exchange information between the national scale and the level of the producers were identified. Interviews were conducted to characterize the information flows and their possible relevance to promote EbA in the productive systems of coffee producers. Results. It was identified both key actors and gaps in the network of organizations that inhibit the transmission of information between scales and sectors. In Costa Rica, the capacity for intermediation of information across sectors and scales is spread between State entities and competitive producer organizations. In Honduras, intermediation capacities are distributed among some civil society organizations that work at local levels closely with producers and governmental organizations that work at the national level. In Guatemala, the intermediation capacities are mainly distributed among governmental, civil society and private organizations, mainly at the national level. Conclusion.The analysis of networks in these coffee landscapes suggests that although all three countries have a similar institutionalization of the coffee sector, in two the dissemination of information to promote EbA would benefit at intermediate and local scales to promote learning among producers.


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How to Cite

Vignola, R., Otarola, M., Alpizar, F., & Rivera, P. (2019). Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Governance for coffee smallholders in Central America. Agronomía Mesoamericana, 30(1), 19–32. Retrieved from

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